[CentOS] Red Hat CEO: Go Ahead, Copy Our Software

Fri Aug 16 19:12:52 UTC 2013
Andrew Wyatt <andrew at fuduntu.org>

On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 2:03 PM, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 1:47 PM, Reindl Harald <h.reindl at thelounge.net>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Exactly my point.  Everything is about derived works.  So binaries
> >> cannot be exempt from the requirement that the work as a whole can
> >> only be distributed under a license that permits free redistribution
> >> and that additional restrictions cannot be added
> >
> > *which restrictions from your fantasy are you talking about?*
> I'm talking about the consequences Red Hat applies if you were to
> exercise the right that the GPL says you have to redistribute copies.
>  If  the threat of such consequences aren't a restriction, what would
> be?
> I realize that Red Hat does, in fact do more than required in other
> areas so this is just a philosophical point, but I don't see how their
> treatment of binaries meshes with the letter of the GPL.
> I also realize that since CentOS and other derivative distros rely on
> the 'more than required' parts (non-GPL'd parts, source in easily
> reusable form, etc.), it could all go away on a whim, just like the
> freely redistributable binaries did, so even if you are happy with
> today's scenario, there's no reason to expect it to last.
> <snip>

The only leverage RedHat has to prevent people from redistributing RHEL
binary media are the trademarks contained within the three packages I
mentioned previously.  They are included on the installation media
(obviously).  GPL does not apply to trademarks (only copyright), so even
though those three packages are technically GPL, they can't be
redistributed under RedHat's trademark guidelines.   The srpms can't even
be redistributed except by RedHat (they are available on their public FTP

RedHat's trademarks are the only reason why you can't take the RedHat ISO
and distribute it to whomever you want.  You can however take any of the
packages minus the three packages containing trademarks and distribute them
in binary format, there is no real benefit to doing that though when you
can simply build the rpms from source.